There are moments when I look up from contemplating my belly button and see where I'm at. The texture of the air, the shapes and colors of the material world, the sounds -- they crack me open like an egg. I raise my head, and it's as if I'm coming up for air from swimming along the bottom of the pool, crashing into clarity from a world of muffled sounds and blurred sight.
I stepped from the car and into the front yard of Foodwifery.com co-founder Laurie Smith's farm along the Auglaize County border near Waynesfield and into the whole wide world. Listen. Use your headphones, the recording volume was low. Close your eyes.
Pure sweetness, right? I feel like I'm a kid again, six years old and laying on my back in the grass on the edge of the playground during recess at Grafton Road Elementary School. The sky is forever and a day above me, but it comes all the way down to my sun-warmed little spot on Earth to blow me a kiss and ruffle my hair.
Can you smell the grass? Can you feel how wide open you are, how small and big at the same time? Over there, outside the side door to the red barn, are the five kittens that we couldn't find the last time I was here because they were hiding in the hay. They're fat as a barrel and trip over each other to get back into the Over here, by the open garage door, in a blue insulated sack, the milk I've come to pick up. I use it to make kefir, from grains I got from the Easter House fermentation workshop. To my right, the little worn-out farmhouse that Laurie's family outgrew years ago. They'll eventually get around to renovating it, just like we'll get around to building out the empty space over our garage.
Another sound that reminds me I'm not in New York anymore: mooing. Listen for the inhale of the older cow. She's using oceans of air, riding a big tide of breath.
A patron at the library on Wednesday was telling my boss how he couldn't wait to escape during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. "I've gotta get OUTTA here!" he hissed in a stage whisper -- we don't require absolute quiet in the library anymore, no one's here to study or read, just grab a book or DVD and go.
I was taken aback.
Where's he going? There's so much to see around here.